The festive season in South Africa brings a slowdown for many businesses, with offices closing and employees taking leave to spend time with family and friends. However, an empty office doesn’t mean that risks and responsibilities take a holiday too. Risk Benefit Solutions Insurance Brokers (RBS) understands businesses’ unique vulnerabilities during this period and offers essential insurance tips to ensure business continuity and security.
Review Your Business Insurance Policy
Before the holiday season begins, reviewing your business insurance policy is crucial. Ensure that it is up to date and reflects any recent changes in your business operations, assets, or property. Confirm that your policy includes adequate coverage for risks that may be heightened during the holidays, such as theft or property damage when your premises are unoccupied—taking a seasonal increase for theft and stock cover.
Secure Your Premises
With the office empty, securing your premises is essential to prevent unauthorized access or damage. This includes checking that all security systems are functional, all entry points are securely locked, and valuable items are safely stored. Inform your security provider that the office will be empty so they can be extra vigilant during this time.
Protect Against Cyber Threats
The holiday season often sees an increase in cyber threats. Ensure all company data is backed up and cybersecurity measures are in place and updated. RBS recommends considering a cyber liability insurance policy to protect against potential breaches during the festive period when IT staff may not be monitoring systems as closely.
Manage Risks of Unattended Equipment
Following proper shutdown procedures is essential if your business involves machinery or equipment that will sit idle over the holidays. This can help prevent accidents or damage that could occur when operations resume. Check that your insurance covers any incidents related to equipment malfunction or breakdowns. Clearing waste rubble and not storing excess material near machinery are all things to be observed.
Notify Your Insurance Broker of Temporary Closures
Communicate with RBS about your business’s operating hours over the holidays. Some insurance policies may have conditions related to extended periods when the company is unoccupied, and you may need to take additional steps to ensure coverage remains in effect.
Plan for Emergency Response
Have an emergency response plan and ensure that key personnel know it. This should include contact details for emergency services and keyholders and a protocol for responding to alarms or incidents on the premises. RBS can assist in developing a comprehensive plan that aligns with your insurance policy.
Review Your Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance can be a lifesaver if an unexpected event disrupts your business operations during the holidays. This coverage can compensate for lost income when your business cannot operate as usual. RBS can help assess your need for this type of insurance and ensure adequate coverage.
Consider Additional Liability Coverage
Consider your public liability coverage if you plan to have a skeleton staff working or hosting a holiday event at your office. RBS can advise on whether your current policy provides sufficient protection or if additional temporary coverage is necessary.
Goods In Transit
Goods in transit insurance are highly recommended for those transporting merchandise over the festive season. You need to ensure you take adequate precautions ahead of the festive season by introducing additional security measures and temporarily increasing the cover
If your business is closing down during the holiday season, ensuring your vehicles are safely stowed while not in use is a good idea. Safety measures include:
- Parking vehicles under hail-proof and shade nets to prevent damage from harsh summer days or thunderstorms
- Opting for a secure, lockable parking option such as a garage or car depot
- Removing and safely stowing vehicle batteries to avoid potential theft.
The holiday season should be a time of rest and rejuvenation, not worry over potential business risks. With the proper preparation and insurance coverage, you can ensure that your business remains secure even when the office is empty. RBS is dedicated to providing tailored business insurance solutions that protect your assets, employees, and the continuity of your operations. Contact us today to prepare your business for a safe and secure holiday season.
Risk Benefit Solutions, better known as RBS, originated as an entrepreneurial-focused services business in 1998 and today is one of the largest fully-fledged black-owned insurance brokers in South Africa and a Level One BBBEE contributor. Celebrating 25 years in business this year, our growth has contributed to offering clients a unique approach to risk management by positioning our skilled resources as an extension of our client’s risk management team. Our company covers various services, including Insurance Broking, Risk Management, Commercial and Corporate Risk Advisors, and Corporate Vehicle Hire Services. With its head office in Cape Town, RBS has offices in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and globally, represented through its board membership with WING (Worldwide Insurance Network Group).